Nicky adores penning lyrics to original works and those by other composers. Most recently, she wrote lyrics for six songs on French vocalist and composer Loïs Le Van's upcoming album "VIND2.0". Below you can hear "Isolate", sung by Loïs, which also features on French saxophonist Tom Bourgeous upcoming Neuklang album, out in March 2022.
Tutu Puoane is a South African vocalist based in Belgium. A two-time South African Music Award winner, she has performed and recorded with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and toured throughout Europe. She asked Nicky to write lyrics to a tune by Belgian trumpeter, Bert Joris. Originally titled "Sundown", the song was recorded on Tutu's 2014 album "iLanga" as "Sunsong".
Nicky's favourite South African composer is the late Bheki Mseleku. Underrated and underplayed, Mseleku was not just a pianist, but a composer whose body of work showcases a sophistication in South African jazz composition that is unparalleled. He approached melodies masterfully; navigated shifting harmonies deftly; and managed to seamlessly weave the threads of the jazz tradition with South African colours and characteristics. Nicky has written lyrics to a selection of his tunes.
Her lyrics for "Closer To The Source" were used for this arrangement of the song by Marcus Wyatt. Watch vocalist Mihi Matshingana and Wyatt's ZAR Jazz Orchestra perform the tune below at the 2019 Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.